tv The Situation Room CNN October 11, 2012 4:00pm-7:00pm EDT
fred. this week the fraternity brought him over in a ceremonial procession to put him in his seat here in the theater to watch this debate. when he's not here, he can be seen at the centre college football games. i can promise you this, he will not be applauding tonight. and i bet you he doesn't have a horse in this presidential race. >> mark preston, thank you. quick reminder, debate pregame 7:00 tonight here on cnn, debate begins two hours later, 9:00 eastern. and now, "the situation room" with wolf blitzer begins right now. let me help you with the difference between iran and the embassy in lebanon. >> i almost resent vice president bush your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy. >> i served with jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> that was really uncalled for, senator. >> you call that trickle down, i
call it niagra falls. >> senator dole, mr. kent would put the american economy in a barrel and send it over the falls. >> i can see my wife. and i think she's thinking i wish you would go out into the private sector. >> i'm going to try to help you do that. >> with all due respect in your plan barack obama's offered a clear plan. >> your plan is a white flag of surrender. happening now, countdown to tonight's vice presidential debate. we're covering it like no other network. first, a cnn exclusive. paul ryan tells us about his preparations to go head-to-head with vice president joe biden. standby. also behind the scenes photos and new details from vice president biden's practice sessions. and new polls from the swing states are coming in. they show why tonight's debate is more crucial than ever for both men at the top of the
ticket. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're down to only 26 days until the presidential election. and right now joe biden and paul ryan are getting ready for debate night in america. there's intense pressure as the polls show the two tickets are closer than ever. cnn has full coverage of both candidates. we begin with congressman paul ryan in an interview you will see only, only here on cnn. cnn senior congressional correspondent dana bash, she sat down with congressman ryan. she's joining us now live from the debate site in danville, kentucky. dana, how's he preparing for tonight? >> reporter: well, you know, wolf, he is doing what is now traditional for candidates who are running for president and
vice president, which is having mock debates. he has been doing that really all over the country as much as he can in hotel rooms from oregon to virginia to florida. but another thing that i learned about him, which is really fascinating, is that it's not just that, he is using every moment and has been in order to study. he made sure to have his briefing papers with him. take a look. i know you have a pretty large briefcase there. >> you ask me to show you my briefcase. >> reporter: can you show us? i can barely lift it. >> it's heavy. what do you think, about 30 or 40 pounds. >> reporter: at least. >> it's pretty heavy. i've got a lot of binders. different subjects. >> reporter: is this the keys to the kingdom. >> i'm not going to open my binder. i just like to study the issues. >> reporter: in all seriousness, is that where you keep the binders that are preparing you for the debate. >> yes. absolutely. >> reporter: without giving away the specifics, generally, how are you preparing? you're doing a lot of reading. >> i do a lot of reading. that's what i've always done. briefings and readings. >> reporter: you're not just doing it for yourself.
>> that's right. >> reporter: you're doing it for the guy at the top of the ticket who picked you. >> like i said, this is new for me. joe has done this for decades. ran for president, had all the presidential debates, sitting vice president. he clearly goes into this with a whole lot more experience and this is the first time i'm on a stage like this. >> dana is joining us once again. dana, romney told me something similar earlier in the week when he suggested that ryan has never really been in a big debate like this before. certainly hasn't been in a big debate like this, but he has debated before. >> reporter: yes, they're both right in that of course he has not been the vice presidential candidates before with tens of millions of people watching. but he ryan himself reminded me he is a member of the house of representatives, has been for seven terms. he's debated quite often on the floor of the house and committee and other venues. and he also has been a candidate for congress where he has had to debate. so on that note i took him on a walk down memory lane. i want to show you a picture that might be a blast from the
past. >> oh, yeah. that was my first campaign. >> reporter: this is your first campaign against lydia spottswood. >> that's my lucky irish tie. i've worn that tie in most of my election nights. i've had seven elections. and i think that's a tie. >> reporter: back in that race she is quoted as saying she was old enough to be your mother. joe biden is a generation plus. i mean, joe biden is 69. you're 42. he's a generation older. how much does that play into your preparation? >> i'm use today that actually. i came into congress when i was 28 years old. i'm used to serving with people who are older. i'm used to debating people who are older. >> reporter: now, everybody probably is wondering will he wear that lucky tie tonight. i'm trying to find out. i'm told he has several ties with him and he's trying to figure out exactly which one to wear. unclear if the lucky tie will win out. beyond that, you know, yes, he has been studying very, very hard. but today, debate day has been a down day for him.
primarily he's been spending time with his wife and small children who are rarely with him on the campaign trail. they are here with him in kentucky. ryan tweeted a photograph with him and his young son. and, you know, everybody who has prepared candidates and who have actually been involved in these debates, wolf, will tell you that as much as you study on the day of the debate you have to be mentally prepared. that means resting and relaxing and having people around you who make you comfortable and make you laugh. >> great work. dana, we're going to have a lot more of your exclusive interview with congressman ryan coming up in the next several hours leading up to tonight's debate. dana, she got the exclusive with paul ryan tonight. and we're very proud of her. thank you, dana. don't go too far away. more of this interview coming up. both presidential candidates are squeezing in campaign spots before their running mates square off tonight. we'll see mitt romney later in north carolina today. just minutes ago in florida the president accused romney of changing his positions on tax cuts during last week's debate. listen.
>> he stood up on the stage in one of his primary debates, proudly promised his new tax cuts on top of the bush tax cuts would include the top 1%. you wouldn't know this from listening to the new latest version of mitt romney. he's trying to go through an extreme makeover. after running for more than a year in which he called himself severely conservative, mitt romney's trying to convince you he was severely kidding. >> today cnn was the first to show you pictures of vice president biden practicing for tonight's debate. a second floor ballroom at a hotel in wilmington, delaware, turned into a replica of the debate hall complete with a semicircular table like the one he will sit at tonight. maryland congressman chris van holland is playing the part of ryan. i'll speak with him live later here in "the situation room." just moments ago though the campaign tweeted out another
picture. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin has been working her sources about his debate preparations. jessica, what is his primary goal tonight? >> reporter: hi, wolf. according to democratic sources for the vice president the number one goal is to make the compelling case for the president's plans and his vision on the economy. yes, he will look for openings to bring up the 47%. yes, he will look for openings to talk about paul ryan's budget. the idea in general is to tie governor mitt romney -- sorry, tie governor romney to the ryan budget. and as one top democrat put it to me, the idea is to make the case that romney/ryan in electing that ticket means americans would be electing the intellectual leader of the house republicans, as one person put it, that paul ryan is the intellectual leader of the house republicans and he should not be able tonight to duck from any specifics. so, again, we will hear that word, specifics. and look for the vice president
to try to get paul ryan to talk about budget details in this debate tonight, wolf. >> jessica, has the vice president done his tour of the actual debate hall yet? >> reporter: he has. he did that tour a little earlier today before 2:00 p.m. he sat in the chair. he looked at the monitor where you get your time cues. and i'm told all that went smoothly. he also before he boarded the plane today leaving from delaware he talked to reporters and he was asked what is his strategy. take a listen to what he said. >> i'm looking forward to it. nice of you guys to be here. are you on the plane with us? all right. those guys -- ever seen me rope-a-dope? >> reporter: rope-a-dope, obviously a reference to a muhammad ali where you tire your opponent out before you make a winning punch, i think that's an
accurate way to describe it. and mohammad ali i'm told was born right here in kentucky. maybe that's why he made the reference. the vice president is right now resting at a home not far out of town with his family and reviewing some notes and thoughts. but, wolf, i'm told we should also expect a wide variety of topics to come up. so he's been covering everything from supreme court cases to foreign policy of course as well as those domestic issues i mentioned. >> yeah. 90-minute debate supposedly half on domestic issues and half on foreign policy issues. we'll see how that unfolgds. jessica, thanks very much. new polls from the swing states show why tonight's debate is more crucial than ever. john king has been going through the numbers at the magic wall. he's standing by. he'll join us next.
certain ri the political landscape for tonight's debate is different than last debate. john king is over at the magic wall to show us what is actually changed. >> wolf, you've seen it in the national polls. and watch this. i'm going to show you, wow, a lot of evidence the republican momentum is on the line tonight. governor romney built on it in the first debate. we know this, brand new poll in the state of nevada shows a two-point race. the president had been ahead a bit more there. keep going through the battlegrounds. look at colorado. a state on romney's agenda. he tends to have been doing better in the west. nevada had been doing closer. new quinnipiac poll, little boost from the debate there. let's come over to a huge state. romney probably needs to win florida. i can give you a scenario where he wins without florida, but
it's a hard one. he had been down pretty big numbers. look at this. "the wall street journal" poll 48% to 47%, a statistical tie in the battleground state of florida. come up the coast, predebate there were polls in the state of virginia showing the president opening up a big lead outside the margin of error. new poll out today, romney 48%, president obama 47%. a statistical tie in battleground virginia. so there's colorado, nevada, florida, virginia. and one i'm just back wolf from the state of ohio. we had a cnn poll showing romney making gains. president still with a very narrow lead. consistent with that a new nbc "the wall street journal" poll out today, governor romney at 45%, predebate polls showing romney down seven, eight, even nine points. in all the battleground states and national polls romney's coming up. that's the momentum the republicans hope to keep in tonight's debate. >> john, is there any evidence right now that this debate -- that last week's debate has put
some states in play that presumably weren't in play? >> there's some evidence. that's a fascinating question. this is a key point in the campaign. where are we going to spend ad dollars? where are we going to send the vice president and paul ryan? governor romney has been trying for a long time to put his birth state, michigan, in play. we had a poll suggested that was unlikely to happen. this is after the debate. a reputable polling firm from the state of michigan, a three-point race. we'll watch and see if it lasts. sometimes the bounces dissipate. at the moment the democrats might have to worry more about michigan. another state romney has long wanted to put in play is battleground pennsylvania. been out of reach in most polls. here's one snapshot, but pop it up for you here, this one obama 33%, romney 40%, undecided 12%. at last that's the big question. heading into this debate and then into the second presidential debate next week, if you're the democrats, you're not only looking at battlegrounds we've been focusing on for months, we're worrying about michigan, pennsylvania, maybe others.
>> historically, john, i've often heard pollsters say undecideds at this stage usually tend to break in bigger numbers for the challenger as opposed to the incumbent. is that your historical knowledge? >> that's not always the case. people think if you're undecided then you're not going to vote for the incumbent. but look back through history and if you want to see this online, nate silver of "new york times" and 538.com did analysis pulling back a bunch of elections. that's not always the case. you can't count on that to happen. breaking against the challenger. there's actually some evidence in more recent elections it hasn't gone that way. we also know this, wolf, both campaigns do this largely as a base election. turn out your people because they think the very narrow slice of people undecided. >> about as close as it gets. john, thanks very much. next week's second obama-romney debate will be moderated by our own candy crowley. she's standing by to tell us what she's watching for tonight. this is something you will see only here.
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the moderator for tonight's vice presidential debate is abc's martha rad itch. our own candy crowley will be watching with a very unique perspective. she's preparing to moderate next week's debate. candy's here to talk about it. i guess the key question, what are you going to be looking for in tonight's debate? >> actually, it's funny because i went to the denver debate as well. and i was so focused on the candidates that i forgot about the whole moderator thing. and that's the absolute truth. obviously i want to see martha do well because then i think you get a good debate. i think watching these two guys
will be fascinating simply because i think that the general rule here in terms of vice presidents is don't do any harm. that's the first thing you want to do is you don't want to mess with the top of the ticket and give him something heavier to carry into the next debate. so i think that's their first rule. anything over that is gravy. i think both of them if they had a status quo coming out would be sort of fine with that and leave it up to the top of the tickets. as far as martha's concerns i'm always interested in the questions. in a debate you don't want to go over plowed ground. this is the vice presidential candidates as opposed to the presidential candidates. so is there room there to come back to a presidential candidate and say, well, your vice presidential candidate said this? i'm always kind of looking for the next question. >> martha is a world class journalist. i'm sure she will do an excellent, excellent job tonight. your debate next week you're moderating will be different because it's a town hall format. here's an example of other town
hall formats. watch this. >> the candidates will be asked questions by these voters on a topic of their choosing. >> how can you honestly find a cure for the economic problems of the common people if you have no experience in what's ailing them? >> i don't think it's fair to say you haven't had cancer therefore you don't know what it's like. >> in my state when people lose their jobs, it's a good chance i'll know them by their names. >> my question is concerning you, mr. dole. >> well, i think age -- wisdom comes from age, wisdom and experience, i have some age, some experience, some intelligence, that adds up to wisdom. >> i can only tell you that i don't think senator dole is too old to be president. it's the age of his ideas that i question. >> my hero is a guy named teddy
roosevelt. teddy roosevelt use today say, walk softly, talk softly but carry a big stick. senator obama likes to talk loudly. >> senator mccain, this is the guy who sang bomb, bomb, bomb iran. who called for the annihilation of north korea. >> all right. it's a delicate line these candidates will have to walk next week with a live studio audience right near them. >> sure. it just changes the vibe completely because you know and i know that they don't have any problem kind of challenging you, challenging a reporter, somebody that they're familiar with. they can be really tough on you and say, hey, that's not true. they don't have a problem shouting you down. but if you have a bunch of undecided voters watching you, there's a couple things. first of all, you can't be too hot. you can't be too aggressive because that vibe is bad in the room. second of all, all the theatrics of it for them. which is the you have to talk to them and you have to seem like you're relating to them. so i think it adds a whole other
level of performance if you will to what they're saying. it's also very hard to evade a question that comes from a town hall person. and the nice thing will be if the town hall person asks apples and they answer oranges, i go wait a second. the question was about apples, let's talk about that. so there's opportunity for follow-up to kind of get them to drill down on the subjects that these folks want to learn about in the town hall. >> and if the person says his or her name, you've got to remember that name and address that person directly. >> absolutely. >> one of the techniques i'm sure they're practicing already. >> as we speak. >> thanks, candy. see you before next week including "state of the union" this sunday. >> thanks. stay with cnn for the best coverage of tonight's vice presidential debate. we'll hear exclusively from congressman paul ryan. we're fact checking both candidates' answers. we're getting a lot of responses from undecided voters as well. we'll be having a focus group in the swing state of virginia.
debate night in america, it starts right after "the situation room" 7:00 p.m. eastern. and don't forget, please be sure to join us next tuesday also at 7:00 p.m. eastern as candy moderates the town hall style debate between president obama and mitt romney. joe biden and paul ryan, they're making their final preparations before tonight's debate. so what impact will tonight's head-to-head matchup have down the stretch? our special panel is heating up. get ready for their take. ♪
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pressure is on. or is it? >> how important is this vice presidential debate really? >> this debate is only going to matter in the race if one of them has a super strong debate and one of them has a weak debate. >> but if joe biden can turn in a really strong performance, maybe he can halt the republican momentum. if paul ryan can turn in a strong performance, the republicans keep the momentum going. >> the difference between this and sports is that the stakes are so high. >> i'm not intimidated. i'm actually excited about it. >> you ever seen me rope-a-dope? >> let's get straight to cnn contributor and sirius xm radio host pete dominick. he's got a special panel. >> thank you very much, wolf blitzer. thank you for letting us hang out in your "the situation room." look at this panel. old roommates, van jones and grover. >> the debate just a few hours away. biden, ryan, do these vp debates
matter. and of course the guy most likely to be president some day. >> there you go. probably this debate doesn't matter unless someone says something crazy and that will be the cycle for about 72 hours. but i think both of these folks are good articulators. they are not going to say anything crazy. people say that biden says some crazy stuff, no, he just talks like a regular guy. and ryan actually talks like a regular guy. it's beneficial for both of them because at the top of the ticket they have a couple of really kind of cerebral guys. so these are the real guys. and they're going to go at it. >> well, grover, i mean you've been watching these for years, obviously. the v.p. debate, this one is crucial because biden's supposed to play the offense. can anything change tonight? >> neither of them has to make the case that they could be president. sarah palin sort of had to make that case four years ago. i think both of them come in
fairly strong on their own merits. there had been hope, politico had an article yesterday saying the democrats thought the ryan plan on medicare was going to be their silver bullet to beat them. hasn't happened so far. my guess is that will end today because ryan will be able to competently make his case. so any hopes of that being a boat anchor on the republican ticket, if it's not finished yet, it's done tonight. >> game changer? >> i'm not sure i totally agree with that. just to jump in. >> you're allowed. >> thank you. i appreciate that. in washington, d.c., paul ryan is a known quantity. i'm not sure that's known nationwide. i think a lot of people tuning in what they saw in the last presidential debate is, oh, i can kind of see romney being president. now they need to see if i can kind of see if romney died that that guy could be president. and i think that's why this matters. there's that. as far as the ryan's plan is concerned, i think it's possible that what's going to happen
there is if biden really goes after him on the ryan plan, then we're going to have the real test of that. because to date you haven't been in a position where democrats can run ads actually featuring paul ryan saying things that might not sound that great. if he does mess up, that's a possibility. i don't think he will, but it's a possibility. >> i think this is going to be for most people who are into politics, this is going to be the best debate ever. >> i agree. >> for us, you got two guys who actually i believe they believe what they say. now, my big hope is that they both come out and say what they believe and believe what they say. because if they do, i think ryan hurts the ticket. because i think where ryan actually is especially for women is so far outside the mainstream that if he just tells the truth about where he's coming from, i think it actually helps his ticket. but this is not one of those situations where you have to worry about people saying stuff that is, you know, biden believes what he says. he believes in the american
dream. he believes in democratic party politics. i think it's going to be a great debate. >> another thing i think is so much different that nobody pays attention to. all these with respect to people who have been covering politics for very long time, people disregard how much different it is. one very experienced pundent -- expert, i should say, said to me, hey, dan quayle got crushed. did that matter? it didn't matter. bush still won. the difference to me though, everything, it's all new. forget conventional wisdom. people don't watch these debates. they listen to him while looking at twitter and then tweeting and facebooking and it's the social networking that i think changes the game especially this year this time around than any other time before. those comments, those things will get picked up and spread out i really do think make a difference. do i have any point here, grover? >> about one out of five americans will watch this debate. one of five. but there will be a lot of opinion makers that watch this debate and tomorrow in the
office or tomorrow evening at dinner or over the weekend watching football the one person who did watch it will be talking about this. or somebody will tune in to cnn and hear what we have to say about it. and then we the opinion makers and the opinion makers in every single community across america, they help those other people make those decisions. >> yeah. i mean, andrew sullivan, the biggest obama supporter after the debate lost his mind. and i think when a guy, a blogger loses his mind, the rest of the progressive community said andrew sullivan said this is over. >> and so did conservatives by the way. everybody went, oh, my god, andrew sullivan is in total meltdown. which is kind of true. >> to his credit -- >> if you want to give credit -- i think if you want to look at somebody who may be worth giving credit to, i would take a look at what's going on with women on facebook tomorrow morning. >> that's what i believe. >> women are highly active on facebook in the mornings. it's a very female friendly forum. and if you look at that and you see that people have that very negative response to ryan that you're predicting, that's going
to be very interesting i think in terms of -- >> how do you deal with this from the conservative side? if i'm biden, i'm going to say as many times as i can this guy is against planned parenthood, with todd akin on wants to redefine rape. i'm going to make sure everyone in america knows how far out there paul ryan is. how can ryan defend himself? >> you know who's in the spin room by the way real quick for biden? cecil henderson. >> look, they're both roman catholics and biden has to endure the fact that his administration hasn't been there on the freedom of religion question and rough on the catholic church. from pulpits around the country and every catholic church around the country, they've been explaining what biden wants to do to catholic hospitals and taking away their funding and damaging them. >> is that vote in play as much though as the woman vote? i think that women maybe were moving very strongly for the
president. now he's losing steam there. i think if i'm biden, i put the women vote. >> we put so much pressure on women being concerned about abortion and they should be, i'm a hard core feminist, two daughters and a beautiful wife. that's really important. but let's not discount what women care about, the economy and jobs as much. >> this is a very good point. speaking as a small business owner myself, one of the things if you look at data over the last five, ten years, you will notice that women are a very, very large chunk of the individuals who are starting small businesses in this country. i think also when you look at the economic data, i know the romney campaign has tried to argue that obama has been bad for women. actually, you know who's really suffered in this economy? blue collar non-educated white males in places like ohio. those guys are really in deep trouble. in some respects women have been doing better out of this i think than those guys have. so i do think that women are important constituency, but i do think there's a lot more depth and go into subtlety than what we've traditionally thought about.
biden may go in that direction. i think if i were ryan, honestly i think the way ryan has to handle that is, i'm catholic, this is what i believe and get away from the rape question. >> women married to men who don't have jobs, then you're talking about vote perhaps on those economic issues as well. >> we have to cut it off real quick. when we come back though we are all going to give our unsolicited advice to one unsuspecting target. stay right here on cnn's "the situation room."
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unsolicited advice. let's start here with van jones. go ahead, van. >> okay. my unsolicited advice is for romney's online team. ask for more staff support. you cannot have a campaign where the president is saying one thing and the website says a totally opposite thing. the candidate is out there saying, i'm not going to cut taxes for people and the website says he is. so if you're on the debate team -- if you're on the online team, ask for more staff. you need 20 more people. it's not your fault. but if you're going to have a candidate change his mind this much, you need a bigger staff. >> why not have the candidate read the website? >> that would be helpful. that's my advice. >> like kennedy said when he was running against him in the '90s, he is the multiple choice candidate. >> and you have to have a bigger web team to keep up for that. >> grover. >> for the people of michigan and washington state, they both have an opportunity this november after voting for president to vote for constitutional amendments to require two-thirds vote to raise taxes. this has been very helpful in other states in slowing tax
increases, preventing tax increases. it's proposition 5 in michigan, initiative 1185 in washington state. >> and look for those in michigan and washington state. that's from the most powerful man in washington. listen up to him. >> which washington though? >> i live in the bad washington. >> it's my washington, the one that's green with trees, not money. >> liz. >> my advice is to voters. please do your homework. don't just listen to what these guys say. actually go and look at what they did. look at their records. it's not enough to rely on rhetoric. go with the record. >> fair enough. don't just rely on a forwarded e-mail or facebook post from your uncle? >> well, that actually might be better than some of what you get out of the candidates. >> how about a 30-second ad? that convinces me. >> i still think you might want to go with your crazy uncle's e-mail instead of that. there's a reason google exists. wick media's out there. it's not always reliable. don't take their word for it. they say all kinds of things.
some of it's not true. >> governor. >> my advice is for joe biden during the debate. i would suggest to joe biden, answer some of the questions, maybe all of the questions with yes or no. you did that during the democratic debates. and it brings the house down. i've debated a lot of times. and if you can find a couple questions where you just say yes or no it means that you are a person either for something or against something. but why this is such a good idea, it gives about 85 minutes for ryan to explain the romney/ryan plan. give all the time he can to ryan to talk about his plan. >> are you saying that vice president joe biden has a propensity for ver basty. >> ryan should talk more. >> should he bring a white board so ryan can do the math? >> i don't think the math adds up. give him a $2 calculator and let him play with it. >> biden has to defend the obama budget out 10, 20, 30 years
where everything crashes and burns. he hasn't put a measure on the ballot. the democratic senate hasn't put out a budget and they haven't put out any reforms for entitlements. >> those guys don't want a white board. >> the good thing about obama is with him you get what you -- what he says. he's been very clear the whole time. he wants a balanced approach. he wants to cut here. he wants to raise taxes here. with the hat tricks from romney, you don't know what you're going to get. >> i think grover got into more and you did, van, more substance than we might see tonight. there's going to be all this substance and policy talk, but it's style. these debates are style. which is why my unsolicited advice is to use humor. not zingers. as a comedian, this word zinger offends me. it's so cheesy. and romney's you're entitled to an airplane and a white house, but not your own set of facts. i cringed as did -- come on, grover. you have a good sense of humor. that was a bad one.
these script eed zingers, or jokes, we see them coming or packing their bags from a mile away. use your sense of humor in the moment, react to something that just happened and make it look like that was your reaction in realtime and people will be impressed with that. i'm not only talking to joe biden and paul ryan, i'm talking to obama and romney. these guys have sense of humors. maybe ryan is about as funny as a rand novel. >> you've got to fake spontaneity. >> be smart. >> it would be great if you can fake it, but just trust yourself. in this moment, i'm going to trust my instincts and make a joke. and that might be the thing that gets picked up all the next week. >> i hope romney never takes that advice because every time romney tries to be funny it's like the least funny thing i've ever heard in my life. but for the other three i think that's totally sensible. >> could be if you got no game, don't go there. >> i've seen romney being funny when he's being real. when it's written for him, he
can't deliver the line. we're out of time. thanks so much to wolf blitzer for letting us borrow the room. right back to him right now. pete, thanks, guys, very much. speaking of ian rand, i'm quoting "the answer to problems we are having in this country." now he has something very different to say about the author. someone who wrote "atlas shrug in the virtue of selfishness." standby.
figure and how she's showing up in the race. >> reporter: they started cropping up three years ago after the financial crisis, steins about john galt and at lis shrugged. for some ayn rand's famous novel and its hero offer a road map. >> atlas shrugged is the answer for the problems we're having in this country today. >> reporter: among those inspired by rand's writing, vice presidential candidate paul ryan. >> the reason i got involved in public service by and large if i had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be ayn rand. >> reporter: but who was she? >> ayn rand was a russian-born jewish intellectual. she was the product of a totalitarian culture who developed a fervid sense of individualism. >> reporter: rand was a teenager when the communist army seized her father's pharmacy. >> they shuttered the doors, put
a red banner across the door and her father never worked again. and she was there to see that humiliation. >> reporter: she came to the u.s. in 1926 and soon became fearful of what she saw. the new deal, social security, big government getting bigger. >> she saw american communism begin to blossom or so she thought in the 1930s and was appalled and horrified. >> reporter: her most famous books, the fountain head and atlas shrugged paint an ugly picture of big government and celebrate the individual over the collective. she called her philosophy objectivism which values selfishness, rejects altruism and advocates free market capitalism. she told mike wallace in a 1959 interview. >> i'm challenging the moral code of altruism, man's moral duty is to live for others. i say man is entitled to his own happiness and that he must achieve it himself. >> reporter: in ayn rand's eyes,
what was the role of government? >> very, very, very small. no public schools. no public libraries. no public hospitals. no public roads. >> reporter: what's the biggest misperception of ayn rand? >> i think the biggest misperception is that she's against things, that she's against government. >> reporter: the senior fellow at the ayn rand institute says her philosophy resonates in a particular way today. >> because she asked people to rethink what the purpose of government is, as a result of this financial crisis and what the government did in response. >> reporter: so she would have hated the bailout of wall street, the bailout of the auto industry? >> yes. she was oppose today handouts for anybody and everybody including businesses. >> reporter: author gary weiss thinks rand's views can be seen by cutting back on social programs. >> she made it sort of morally justifiable to be really harsh in your treatment of the poor.
>> reporter: so what would happen to people in her ideal society that cannot help themselves? >> who would take care of them would be friends, families, they'll do it out of sense of benevolence, out of the sense of generosity. >> reporter: but not out of a sense of religious duty. rand was an avowed atheist. >> she thought christianity and -- were two sides of the same coin. >> reporter: which may be why he took back what he said in 2005. >> i grew up reading ayn rand and taught me about my value system and what her beliefs are. >> her philosophy is -- i'm a devout catholic. >> reporter: and rand may have been equally dismissive of today's politicians. do you think she would like president obama? >> no. >> reporter: would she like mitt romney? >> no. >> reporter: would she like paul ryan? >> no. >> reporter: why? >> because none of them is a
pure capitalist. and none of them agrees wholeheartedly with her. and that was the price of admission with ayn rand. >> reporter: poppy harlow, cnn, new york. just a few hours we're going to see if ayn rand gets any mentions in tonight's debate coverage of the one and only vice presidential debate. it starts right after "the situation room" 7:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. scientists say they've discovered another planet. it's like earth, but it's made of diamonds. we have details. and at the top of the hour, as his father gears up for tonight's presidential debate, beau biden sits down with our own gloria borger. how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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a new man on the ground demanding diplomacy. lisa, what's the latest? >> hi, wolf. that man, lawrence pope, adrived in tripoli today. he'll take over diplomatic duties in the wake of ambassador chris steven's death. pope comes out of retirement. he retired in 2000. he served as ambassador to chad and held other senior posts. and hezbollah is claiming responsibility for a drone that was shot down by israel over the weekend. in a televised speech today the leader says his group sent the drone more than 125 miles down the mediterranean deep into israel. he says it was iranian-made. israeli security experts had quickly blamed hezbollah, a shiite militia based in southern lebanon. and diamonds, the astronomer's best friend. well, u.s. and french research team has discovered a planet twice the size of earth made
largely of sparkly rock. pretty amazing stuff. it's orbiting a sun-like star in the constellation of cancer. and it's moving so fast that a year there is just 18 hours. it's also really hot. temperatures there can reach 3,900 degrees fahrenheit. and it is time to go buy some stamps because the u.s. postal service just announced that the cost of stamps is going up a penny in january. if the postal regulatory commission okays the increase, sending a letter first class will now cost you 46 cents. the postal service also plans to introduce a global forever stamp letting you mail letters anywhere in the world for $1.10. a story that, wolf, i'm most fascinated is about that planet. fascinating. a planet made of diamonds. wolf, imagine that. >> imagine that. thanks very much, lisa. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, we're counting down to the vice presidential debate. we have it covered like nobody else can.
joe biden under pressure now to make up for the president's flat performance. we're going to hear from beau biden on what to expect from his father tonight. also, we know paul ryan has been working out. we'll hear the story behind "time" magazine's controversial photos of ryan pumping iron. is he ready to defend his controversial budget plan as well? plus, as the death toll rises in the meningitis outbreak in the united states, cnn's dr. sanjay gupta is digging deeper into the company linked to the tainted medications. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." mitt romney and president obama were polite and pretty
restrained in their first debate. but the gloves could come off tonight when their running mates square off in kentucky in a tight race where both sides are looking for an edge. this debate offers the chance to pick up some momentum. our live coverage begins in two hours. let's get a preview right now from our national political correspondent jim acosta. jim. >> reporter: wolf, a senior advisor to mitt romney tells cnn the campaign expects paul ryan to focus on substance at tonight's debate with joe biden. they say that's what worked at last week's debate between mitt romney and president obama in denver. and the advisor is still downplaying expectations for ryan saying that his face-off with joe biden will be "a new experience." but nevertheless the wyoming congressman is no amateur and no rookie when it comes to face-offs with the obama administration. just a few moments ago he tweeted out a picture of himself on the debate stage here in danville, kentucky. i guess he was going through his walk through, you might say, at that point, wolf.
and we are told by top aides to paul ryan that he expects to be called mr. ryan later on this evening. in one corner paul ryan in an ice cream shop on the campaign trail, mitt romney's running mate didn't exactly predict a rocky road in his first debate with joe biden. but he did give the vice president the edge. >> joe biden's been on this stage before. he's been on the big stanls. this is my first time. >> reporter: in the other corner a man who's been on this stage before. >> ever seen me rope-a-dope? >> reporter: but biden better have his gloves up. ryan will be looking to debate substance, the wyoming congressman will zero in on this widely received presidential gaffe earlier this month. >> how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that's been buried for the last four years. >> reporter: the obama campaign is looking to biden to go after romney's recent comments and how people with pre-existing
conditions could attain health care in a romney administration. romney told the columbus dispatch, no, you go to the hospital. you get treated and you get care and it's paid for either by charity, the government or by the hospital. we don't have people that become ill who die in their apartment because they don't have insurance. >> joe just needs to be joe. >> reporter: in an interview with abc news, president obama sounded confident about biden's chances. that's because despite the vice president's occasional verbal mishaps, biden has been a debate standout. >> can you reassure voters in this country that you would have the discipline you would need on the world stage, senator? >> yes. [ laughter ] >> there's only three things he mentioned in his sentence. a noun, a verb and 9/11. there's nothing else. >> reporter: even though romney set low expectations for ryan in this cnn interview with wolf blitzer. >> this is, i think paul's first debate. i may be wrong. he may have done something in high school. i don't know. >> reporter: ryan has debated several times during his congressional career. he's even clashed with the
president over reforming medicare. >> if i understand it correctly would say we're going to provide vouchers of some sort for current medicare recipients at the current level. no? well, no, i understand. i mean, there's a grandfathering in. but just for future beneficiaries. >> it has to be reformed for younger generations because it won't exist because it's going bankrupt. >> reporter: and if there's one thing history has shown, a young gop vice presidential candidate debating an elder opponent should always avoid lofty comparisons. >> i served with jack kennedy. i knew jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> reporter: now, as for those pictures of paul ryan working out that were published today by "time" magazine, a source close to paul ryan, i can tell you a top aide to paul ryan, says people around the wisconsin congressman are outraged that those photographs came out on
the same day of this debate. they said this debate should be a day about talking about the important issues facing the country. and they feel "time" magazine, wolf, showed poor judgment in putting out those photographs today. >> we're going to speak with rick stengel, the managing editor of "time" magazine, our sister publication later this hour. we'll ask him why they decided to release these photos right now. they've been sitting on them for a while. standby for that, jim acosta, we'll keep in close touch with you. which joe biden will we see tonight? the man who occasionally has the uncanny ability to put his foot in his mouth. our chief political analyst gloria borger is here. gloria, you sat down with beau biden, attorney general of delaware, the vice president's son, today, what did you learn? >> well, we went to wilmington. beau biden actually has spent a lot of time with his father because he's moved into his father's house while his house is being renovated.
he's been there a lot for debate prep. i said, okay, you tell me, is your father going to go on the attack tonight? here's what he said. >> we'll see tonight, right? you'll see my father's always respectful and he'll be respectful tonight. >> that sounds like a yes. >> we'll see, right? we'll see. >> is he going to -- let me ask it this way, would you expect him to draw sharp contrasts between himself and congressman ryan? >> he's going to try to communicate to the american people the stark choice we have to make on november 6th. and it is a very stark choice. >> that sounds like a yes. >> i'm looking forward to the debate. >> so reading between the lines there, it's very clear to me that this is not going to be a passive debate. we know joe biden likes to go on the attack anyway. that's his job as a vice presidential candidate. and i think particularly after the president's performance last week there's even more pressure on him to do that. although beau biden would not
admit that. >> the vice president over these past several months has not done, i think, many if any national television interviews at all. ryan has done a lot including an exclusive interview with our own dana bash that we'll air later today. what's going on here? he used to love going on television as all of us know. and he was always very good at it. >> well, i think he probably still loves going on television. but i think this is the campaign season. nobody believes there's any room for error. joe biden likes to freelance, as you point out. and i think that is a problem as far as the obama campaign is concerned. although you just heard the president say let joe be joe. i mean, the irony to me this evening is that we're going to be watching a debate in which joe biden may be called upon to sort of deliver the lines that president obama did not deliver during the last debate. so the obama campaign is kind of depending on him. i think they're probably worried
to a certain degree. but i think this night will be very important. and if you remember back to the sarah palin debate, i mean, joe biden freelances a lot when he's on the campaign trail and that gives them heartburn, but when he's in the debate as he was with sarah palin, he stays on message. he's very focused. he's very disciplined. he does his homework. i think he'll attack tonight. but he'll have discipline. >> yeah. i remember five months ago he was on "meet the press," that was his last national television interview and he did speak about legalizing same sex marriage and sort of preempting what the president was planning on doing. maybe that's why he hasn't been doing a lot of tv. >> i think that has something to do with it. and you saw him on the campaign trail saying the middle class had been buried. that's something that the obama folks probably didn't want to hear. but, again, on the campaign trail. this is very different, very controlled environment. and i think you're going to see him attack with some planned attacks. not unplanned.
>> we did invite him like we did paul ryan to join us on cnn. so far unfortunately they've declined. >> right. >> please be sure to stay with cnn for debate night in america. our special coverage of the vice presidential debate begins right here at 7:00 p.m. eastern right after "the situation room." pictures everyone's talking about of paul ryan pumping iron. but why did "time" magazine wait until the day of the debate to make them public? and our own san ja gupta is investigating the deadly meningitis outbreak and learning stunning new details about the company linked to the tainted medications. ♪ ♪
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that paul ryan is an excellent physical shape. he's committed to a very serious workout regimen for good reason. his father and his grandfather, they both died of heart disease in their mid-50s. "time" magazine, our sister publication, is now publishing these photos of the vice presidential republican nominee on the newsstands tomorrow. they were taken almost a year ago when he was named runner up in person of the year. joining us "time" magazine editor rick stengel. rick, thanks for coming in. let's talk about the controversy. some romney aides are criticizing "time" magazine for publishing these photos on the eve of the debate -- on the same day actually of the debate. and they insist they had every reason to believe these photos would not be published. tell us the decision why you decided to publish the photos today? >> well, wolf, i'm sorry they feel that way. i think they're actually flattering pictures of mr. ryan.
and, i mean, the explanation is pretty simple. i mean, he is in the news right now. and we are in the news business. and this seemed like the most appropriate time to do those pictures. in fact, i kind of wonder if we'd done them another time you'd be asking me, well, why are you publishing those pictures of paul ryan, it seems sort of arbitrary when he's not in the news. you can't win either way. >> there was a lot of talk about him being in such great physical shape when he was named to the ticket. that would have been a good time to publish those pictures as well. >> well, we thought about it. for various reasons, space reasons and things like that, it didn't seem like the right thing to do at that moment. and then we held them. and then this seemed like the right moment. >> did they ever have any understanding from "time" magazine that those pictures would not be used? >> well, we had discussions with them about using them back and forth. and there was never an understanding that they would not be used. in fact, you know, the photographer owns those pictures.
and he can sell them to anybody. he happened to be on assignment for us. so we had a proprietary use agreement with him over that. it's not like those pictures would have gone to waste all together. >> yeah, those are great pictures. he's obviously in excellent, excellent physical shape. you've got an excellent article as well in the new issue about to hit the newsstands tomorrow. michael crowley has a piece on paul ryan. let me put up a piece, a line or two from the article. if romney does win, ryan could become one of the most influential vice presidents in history. perhaps no number two would take on the job with such a clear policy agenda. if obama should prevail, ryan is sure to be at the center of an internal war within the republican party over what went wrong. you want to elaborate a little bit? it's a really strong piece. >> yes. in selecting mr. ryan, romney was choosing somebody who actually had a very, very specific world view about things that should be done with the
budget. more specific arguably than governor romney himself. so in fact if governor romney is elected, he would have some kind of reason to actually say, you know what, this probably had something to do with my vice president and the specificity of his plan. and let's execute it. i think as mike was saying in the piece also, if governor romney doesn't win, there will be this kind of perhaps civil war within the republican party whether we were too extreme or not extreme enough. and i think romney will have a very, very prominent place in the party going forward. >> i'm sure he will. thanks very much, rick stengel, for that excellent cover story on china as well for our viewers who are interested in that. the next leader of the unfree world. good insight into what's going on in china right now. we're going to have much more on the debate coming up including one issue that's really dividing the vice presidential candidates. plus, our own dr. sanjay gupta
and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters.
that rare meningitis outbreak affecting much of the united states right now is only getting worse. new numbers from the cdc shows the death toll has jumped from 12 to 14. and the case count has surged from 137 to 170. cnn's chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta went to massachusetts to find out more about the facility behind the contaminated injections causing all these problems and ended up discovering a second facility
that may also be linked to the scare. >> reporter: you work here? >> i'm security for the facility. >> reporter: okay. all week we've been trying to dig up anything to try and understand how a common steroid injection could have become so deadly. >> unfortunately, i have to ask you guys to leave the property. >> reporter: no one here really wants to talk. >> your call has been forwarded to an automatic -- >> the number you've dialed is not in service. >> the call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system. >> reporter: all right. >> hello? >> reporter: hello, i'm trying to get a hold of barry -- that one, wrong number. is there actually someone we can talk to? i even went straight to the home of the owner of the facility. there was a car parked at the end of the driveway. no visitors allowed. but i was told they would call me back. they didn't. we're trying to get some information. we were tipped off about a recycling facility that shares a space with the compounding
facility. it's literally in the backyard. it amounted to a garbage dump. we even saw this health vehicle bringing waste from a nursing home to be disposed of here. while there are no laws specifically prohibiting a compounding pharmacy being next to, well, this, the fda tells us it's all part of the investigation. but there was something else we noticed. look closely at the name of this garbage facility connected to the necc. conigliaro, turns out this is the maiden name of barry's wife, lisa. she's also listed as a pharmacist at necc. a little more digging and we found out that barry cadden, gregory conigliario are the owners of necc, that recycling facility and also this medical facility. they wouldn't even let us on the parking lot here. now, if necc is big, then ameridose is the 800-pound
gorilla. has 28 employees and generated $8 million in revenue. ameridose does drug manufacturing regulated by the fda. but they also do add mixing, a form of compounding. that's regulated by the state pharmacy board. and here's something else, there's a woman that's the vice president of compliance here at ameridose, also appointed to the state pharmacy board back in 2008. we asked them about that, and i they say she's rekuzed herself of all matters related to ameridose and necc. both have done business with the united states government. in fact, more than $800,000 of work orders were placed with them from government agencies since 2007. together both these companies produce hundreds of thousands of medication doses. and now both have shut down their operations. now, wolf, i should point out that the department of health
for the state of massachusetts doesn't say that there's any evidence of contamination from ameridose, this was a voluntary shutdown they say. but they're also pointing out this is starting to expose the lack of oversight of these compounding facilities and how the public gets put at risk as a result, wolf. >> it's a real depressing story when you think about it. the cdc, sanjay, as you know they now say 14,000 people received these injections. and they may be at risk. they've been investigating this around the clock. what more do we know? especially about the incubation process. how long do these 14,000 people have to be worried about what's happening inside their bodies? >> yeah. this is new information, wolf. they've been able to identify more closely what the fungus is that's causing these infections and deaths as you point out. the fungus is not a name you need to remember, it's a very, very rarinfection, wolf. in fact, the cdc says this is sort of new territory even for them in terms of how to treat
it. but to your question, we were saying before i think you and i talked it could be up to 28 days or so before someone would develop symptoms. they say with this fungus it could in fact be much longer, even up to a few months. so the 14,000 people you're talking about, this isn't great news for them because they have to be more vigilant for longer. and they're not going to feel out of the woods for a few months. it's a tough one to treat, wolf. and to diagnose as well. >> i'm really glad you're on the case and investigating, sanjay. thanks very much. we'll stay in close touch. so could paul ryan face a problem when foreign policy national security come up in tonight's debate? half of the debate is supposed to be on those issues. paul begala and erick erickson, they're both standing by for our strategy session. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim.
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action super pac, erick erickson, editor and chief of redstate.com. guys, thanks very much for coming in. i want to play part of my interview with mitt romney this week talking about how his running mate might do in tonight's debate. >> are you confident, governor, that paul ryan will take on joe biden thursday night the way you took on the president? >> you know, i don't know how paul will deal with this debate. obviously the vice president has done, i don't know, 15 or 20 debates during his lifetime. experienced debater. i think this is paul's first debate. i may be wrong. he may have done something in high school. it will be a new experience for paul. i'm sure he'll do fine. and frankly paul has the facts on his side. he has policy on his side. and we also have results on our side. so i think you'll find in the final analysis that people make their assessment on these debates not so much by the
theatrics and the smoothness of the presenter but instead on whether they believe the policies being described, the pathway being described will make your life better or not. i just think the american people recognize that the president's policies are not something we can afford for four more years. we just can't afford more of what we've gone through. and they want something new. [ technical difficulties ] >> erick, i don't know if you could hear me. how do you think paul ryan will do tonight against joe biden? >> oh, i think he'll do okay. you know, romney was right. i don't know how many debates paul ryan has had. joe biden in addition to being in the senate has had a number of debates running for president. but frankly i think vice presidential debates gallup has should be time and again vice presidential debates don't really matter. i think it's somewhat funny democrats after the president's debate performance are suddenly hoping joe biden pulls up their
poll numbers through a good debate performance. >> you agree, this vice presidential debate, paul, does it really matter? >> no. i don't. erick's right. people don't vote on who the vice president is or how he debates. i thought it was so disengeneral use. he's never really debated, he's a congressman. what do congressmen do all day? they debate. and he debates on the house floor. and he's a perfectly able debater. joe biden is i think an outstanding debater. >> they don't debate. they speechfy. >> romney debates all the time. so does biden. i hate that phony disingenuous. sometimes ryan can come off mean spirited and dishonest, which is a huge risk for him. pop your popcorn. this could be the best debate of all four of them. >> there's no doubt that paul
ryan, erick, is very knowledgeable on a lot of the economic issues. chairman of the budget committee, on the weighs and means committee, half the debate is supposed to be on foreign policy. this is an area where he's got much less experience. how much of a problem potentially could this be especially since joe biden, that's his specialty was chairman of the foreign relations committee the last four years. most of his time has been spent on international affairs. >> you know, i don't mean to laugh. i actually do like the vice president and have a tremendous amount of respect for him. but i don't know of an issue in foreign policy joe biden's ever really been right on. he wanted to subdivide iraq into three portions after 9/11. wanted to give $2 billion no questions asked to iran to show the middle east we were okay with them and didn't want to invade them. paul ryan doesn't have a lot of expertise in foreign policy, but joe biden has a lot of experience and been wrong pretty much all the time. >> go ahead, paul.
>> these guys are going to put the other's principle on trial. if ryan is smart, and he is very. he won't attack joe biden the way erick did and erick has points to make, he will attack president obama. he will say i predict on foreign policy is this, if mitt romney had been our president, he would have never moved heaven and earth to go after osama bin laden. that's a quote from mitt romney. if mitt romney had been our president, we would still have troops in iraq. he called ending the war in iraq a tragedy. bin laden would be alive, general motors would be dead but bin laden alive. and we'd still be at war in iraq. this is remarkable looking at the suck eszful wind down of our combat operations in iraq and bringing those young men and women home thank god finally that mitt romney wants to go back to war. re-invad? that's the kind of debate we need to have. both of these guys if they're doing the right thing won't attack each other and their records, they'll attack up at the principles. >> you've got to admit, erick, the american public is happy
u.s. troops are out of iraq and certainly thrilled bin laden is dead. >> absolutely. the problem is that the president spent an entire year campaigning that osama bin laden was dead and al qaeda's on the run and now we know al qaeda's alive and our assassinated ambassador's been dragged through the streets of benghazi. >> hold your thought on that point. i want to continue this conversation. we'll take a quick break. we'll also ask this question, is mitt romney moving toward the center? what impact will that have on the conservative base? our strategy session continues in a moment. each candidate will have two minutes for an opening statement. >> in 1992 when perot had chosen sto stockdale as his vice president, he almost seemed like he didn't belong there. >> who am i?
why am i here? >> it made no sense to the audience and it hurt perot's credibility as a presidential candidate. >> i'm not a politician. everybody knows that. so don't expect me to use the language of the washington insider. >> what it underscored was a problem of judgment on perot's part. mom always got good nutrition to taste great.
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that's a 27-year gap. >> i don't think it is. joe biden you see is a remarkably fit guy. maybe he should rip off his shirt and pose with his rock solid abs the way congressman ryan apparently likes to do when cameras are around. i don't think that's a problem. i think the bigger risk could be if congressman ryan -- and he is a congressman, there's reporting now that he's been asked to be addressed as mr. ryan, as if he's like been in the witness protection program. congressman ryan has a risk here of maybe looking a little snotty. he can sometimes come across as, you know, a little disrespectful. and that's a bigger risk, i think, than biden looking too old. because he's a vigorous guy. >> what do you think, erick? >> i love paul's pregame spin here, dishonest, disrespectful. you know, i just think all the set up for the debate sometimes gets a little overblown. my problem is i've heard a number of conservative and republican advisors tell paul ryan he doesn't need to get in the weeds. he doesn't need to be too wonky. actually, i think that's what
paul ryan does. natural element believe it or not is to not actually pose for "time" magazine doing p90x and draw pie graphs in the air with his hand. he's a wonky in the weeds guy and highlight the seriousness of the problem. >> let joe be joe and let paul be paul. >> there you go. >> listen to the former president, erick, of the united states, bill clinton describe what he says is a changed mitt romney. >> i had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did. i thought, wow. here's old moderate mitt. where you been, boy? i missed you all these last two years. >> erick, has mitt romney done the etch-a-sketch move to the center these last few weeks? >> oh, i think everybody
moves -- gosh, i wish bill clinton is on the campaign trail. he's so much fun to listen to. this is moderate mitt. although i don't know that it matters. a lot of the polling that's come out show a lot of voters still consider mitt romney, even those who saw the debate and the polling after the debate consider romney more conservative than they are and consider closer to him than barack obama. i'm not sure the moderate mitt care kature really matters. >> this poll that came out, a bunch of states asked the question among likely voters, who has strong leadership qualities between these two candidates? look at the quinnipiac university cbs news, "new york times" poll in colorado. mitt romney, 67% strong leadership qualities. barack obama 54%. let's go to virginia, 64% for mitt romney, 62% for barack obama. and paul in wisconsin 65% for mitt romney, 59% for barack obama.
so clearly in those three battleground states they think romney has stronger leadership qualities than the president does. >> well, that's what comes from having a strong debate. but notice this was a gain for romney much more than a loss for president obama. i think that's really unusual about this last debate. romney helped himself, there's no doubt. he eroded the president's lead, but he didn't really erode the president's position. in other words, people still like the president, they support the president. if the election were held today, he'd still win. it would be a lot closer than a week or two ago. these internals do matter. and it's wise i think we're highlighting strong leader. look at things like cares about me, for the middle class. let's see if what president clinton was saying a minute ago starts to catch on. if people start to believe this guy's a phony, and i think he is, that's going to really hurt romney on that leadership dimension. he had a good debate, but while bill clinton is out there campaigning for president obama, you know who's not campaigning for mitt romney? all the guys and gals he ran against. no john mccain, no mike huckaby,
no newt gingrich, no rick santorum. i suspect because they hate him. because he's a phony. in the primaries he said right wing stuff and attacked rick perry from the right also not campaigning for governor romney and now pretending to be a moderate. i think politicians, all are a little phony, this guy is the muhammad ali of phoniness. >> we'll leave it on that note. plenty of other opportunities down the road. and these republican want-to-bes nominees may not love mitt romney but certainly don't like the president of the united states at all. up next, in the next hour i should say, i'll speak live with democratic congressman chris van holland. he's been helping joe biden prepare for tonight. he's been pretending to be paul ryan. so where does he think romney's running make is vulnerable? that and more coming up. ally bank. why they're always there to talk. i love you, james. don't you love me? i'm a robot. i know. i know you're a robot!
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amtrak is setting records carrying more passengers than ever. but republicans have the federally subsidized rail system in their sites. and the train could be a hot topic in tonight's vice presidential debate. cnn's sandra endo explains. >> i love to move to the music. >> reporter: big bird is getting all the attention. but team romney has bigger targets that get more federal money. >> we subsidize things like amtrak. we're going to have to stop doing that. >> reporter: amtrak gets roughly $1.4 billion a year in federal subsidies. three times more than pbs. this issue is putting vice presidential candidates paul ryan and joe biden on different tracks when it comes to funding for the rails. >> i'm the biggest railroad guy
you've ever known. >> reporter: biden has made more than 7,900 trips from wilmington, delaware, to washington, d.c., during his time on capitol hill. the station in his home state was even renamed after him last year. and in 2009 the newly elected democrats road the rails into washington, d.c., for their inauguration. ryan's budget plan cuts federal subsidies for amtrak and high speed rail projects. republicans favor privatizing the industry instead. >> the path to prosperity is not to solar shingles and high speed trains. >> reporter: the funding amtrak and investing in high speed rail projects are key priorities for president obama. ridership is at an all-time high for amtrak. more than 30 million passengers road the rails last year. and the busiest line is the one between washington, d.c. and new york city. more than three times as many passengers road that line than those who decided to fly.
>> we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods and information. from high speed rail to high speed internet. >> reporter: federal money for palg passengers trains has been up for debate before. critics say in this economy it's a ripe target. how forceful will paul ryan be against this issue? >> oh, think paul ryan will be extremely forceful. you have to deal with all the expenditures we make, which are the most efficient and least efficient and amtrak is the least efficient and high-speed rail is not sustainable. >> reporter: advocates say despite the tough talk, amtrak has always survived. >> there's some really basic factors that are driving the love for trains that is going to be difficult for any candidate to ignore. >> reporter: regardless which side of the aisle voters are on, expect a date night collision. >> thank you very much. be sure to stay with cnn for
debate coverage in america. coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern. a conservative member of the house science committee calling major scientific theories and i'm quoting now "lies straight from the pit of hell." the latest on the political firestorm he has ignited. that's coming up. one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome. some combinations were just meant to be. tomato soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. begins with back pain and a choice. take advil, and maybe have to take up to four in a day. or take aleve, which can relieve pain all day with just two pills. good eye. [ male announcer ] how do you make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information...
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let's look at this hour's hot shots. we begin in france. jets release the colors of the national flag. look at that. in vietnam, farmers harvest rice from a field. in egypt, the sun burns brightly over a pyramid. in and germany, check it out. a zebra is pictured in its enclosure at a zoo. hot shots. pictures coming in from around
the world. a conservative member of the house science, space and technology is drawing fire after his own fire some major scientific theories. lisa sylvester has been looking into this story for us. lisa, what's going on? >> people often talk about religion and politics but this next story has a little bit of both. athens clark county, georgia, has a population about 100,000, home of the university of georgia. the town is represented in congress by one of its most conservative members, paul broun. 99% conservative rating from the american conservative union. when it comes to fate, he disputes everything on science says on how earth and humans became to be. listen to him at a speech last month at the liberty baptist church. >> all the stuff i was taught
about evolution and big bang theory and all that is straight from the pit. >> broun says the earth is only 9,000 years old which lines up with christian's literal approach. he is a medical doctor and sits on the house committee on science, space and technology is challenging what the scientific world has deemed to be fact. >> very much like saying you think that the earth is flat. it's not flat. you can show that, you can prove that to yourself. to claim that it's 9,000 years is not off a million years, but off by a factor of a million. that is extraordinarily wrong. >> reporter: tv personalty and scientist bill nie says the earth is 4.5 billion years old. nie says we know that because of something called radiometric dating that determines the age of ast troidz and we can also
look at fossils and the layering of the earth and dinosaurs are believed to have roamed the earth 225 million years ago. still many brush aside the evidence. a gallup poll finding 46% of americans believe in creationism and 32% believing in evolution but guided by guide and 15% atheistic evolution. trying to prove creationism. >> the idea that the universe is a big cosmic accident. if that is the case, why would it obey laws? i mean that's kind of convenient. mathematical laws that the human mind can understand. it makes sense it was created by the mind of god. >> reporter: two people we talked to in representative broun's home town captured that split in views. >> someone who is so strongly christian is going to get
backlash. >> i don't think that someone who is in a high-ranking of power should say something like that. >> now, we've reached out to representative broun's office but they say he was not available. he was speaking off the record to that large church group about his personal belief on religion. but, if that was indeed true, that was not obvious to the church because they have posted his full remarks on their church website and on their facebook page, wolf. >> tell me more about this gallup poll you cited. 46% believe in creationism. >> yeah, you know, this poll was just done last june and we've seen this sort of consistently and it's something to keep in mind. people will hear the comments that representative broun saying he believes in the strict interpretation of the bible and the world was created in six days, but actually a lot of people in this country and that poll captures that 46% that believe in creationism. there is also a substantial
about the country believing in sort of this middle view, which is, you believe in evolution, you check the box, yes, believe in evolution, but you believe that evolution was guided essentially from a higher power and believe in the big bang theory but something had to give that spark. so, very interesting discussion, wolf. >> lisa, thanks for that report. >> may help you with the difference between iran and the embassy in lebanon. >> i almost resent that you have to teach me about foreign policy. >> jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> that was really uncalled for, senator. >> you call that trickle down. i call it niagara falls. >> senator dole and mr. kemp would put the american economy in a barrel and send it over the falls. >> i can see my wife and i think she's thinking, gee, i wish she
would go out to the private sector. >> i'll try to help you do that. >> barack obama offered a clear plan. >> your plan is a white flag of surrender. well, tonight joe biden, paul ryan and the vice presidential debate. i'm anderson cooper. >> and i'm wolf blitzer. it's debate night in america and you're in "the situation room". >> tonight the fight for the number two spot at the white house. joe biden and paul ryan in their only vice presidential debate. >> we cannot afford four years like the last four years. >> we are so much better than these guys give the american people credit for. it's not even funny. >> known for going off script. >> we're going to ask the wealthy to pay more. my heart breaks. >> the congressman, a rising star. known for his controversial budget plan. >> if we don't tackle these problems soon, they will tackle us as a country.
>> this hour, an exclusive look at paul ryan's roots. how the tragedy that shaped his life prepared him for this night. >> i've always just believed if you're going to do something, do it well. and life is short. we have to make the most of it. >> now, cnn's coverage of joe biden and paul ryan head-to-head on the dangers overseas and the troubles here at home. >> we will take responsibility and own up and get things done. >> america is coming back. we're not going back! we're going forward. >> the nation is watching. voters want answers and america's future is up for debate. 26 days until the presidential election, but tonight it is the running mates in the spotlight. >> it certainly is. we're counting down to the vice presidential debate between the
incumbent joe biden and the republican nominee, congressman paul ryan. in less than three hours they'll face off in danville, kentucky. that's where cnn white house correspondent brianna keilar begins this hour. how is the vice president feeling about tonight? >> he's feeling good. he's feeling ready, that's what one source close to him tells me. he arrived in nearby lexington, kentucky, earlier this afternoon and made a 45-minute drive to danville here at center college where the debate will take place. he went on a walk through of the hall behind me after paul ryan had gone on his. he did talk to reporters about the debate before he left wilmington, delaware. this is a matchup being reported as the thrill in the ville. >> thank you for being here. are you on the plane with us?
okay. all right. those guys who paid. >> so, that's not the plan. expect the vice president to be somewhat on offense, but, of course, still polite, still with a smile, wolf, as we know joe biden to be. after his walk here at center college, he went to the private home of a supporter not far away where he is still with family members and with his team of aides. he reviewed some of his notes and doing some studying and one source told me he took a nap or had a rest for about an hour or so and one source also told me, wolf, keep an eye on the foreign policy part of this debate. this is an area where the vice president may make some news and offer new details on certain foreign policy issues, wolf. >> half on domestic issues, largely the economy. the vice president has been practicing, practicing, practicing, brianna. he's been in what they call debate camp. tell us what you know.
>> he's been in a four-day intensive debate camp in wilmington, delaware, leading up to this. started on sunday and wrapped up last night. and we actually have some photos that were first on cnn to show you is the set up. just going to show just how much his team was trying to duplicate the conditions here at center college in danville. a table he was sitting at opposite chris van hollen, the top democrat on the house budget committee, which paul ryan is the chair. the table, the same dimensions and the same setup as it is here. his communication director, shalea murray and also a former "washington post" reporter, i should say, playing the role of moderator martha raddatz throughout that process. what he did every day, wolf, was a lot of practice sessions on certain moderator questions and then each evening culminating in a mock debate. the last four nights he had four mock debates and his team says that he's ready, wolf.
>> brianna keilar, thank you very much. vice president biden is about to face off with one of the gop's rising stars. senator, congressman from wisconsin. he made his mark as chairman of the house budget committee. his budget proposal is certain to come up tonight. some of its more controversial provisions may give biden a line of attack. details of ryan's last-minute preparation details. what are you hearing about paul ryan, jim? >> wolf, i've been getting in touch with top advisors to mitt romney and paul ryan all day long. a top aide tells me this has beenical basically a down day. he has been resting and playing with his children. he did a little exercising, which is not too surprising coming from paul ryan. he did that earlier today and also hitting his debate prep books somewhat but he has also
been doing some intense debate prep with the former solicitor general ted olsen and playing the role of joe biden. this ryan aide tells me not to look for zingers and look for paul ryan to get into the substance of the important issues, he says, of facing the country right now. that basically matches up with what i heard from a top romney adviser earlier today. they expect paul ryan to get into the substance of the issues facing this campaign. they believed it worked last week in denver and all the talks about zingers and mitt romney by my count, wolf, only let a couple zingers fly. he got into the substance of the issues facing the day and they feel like that worked for mitt romney. they will also work for paul ryan. now, paul ryan, as brianna just mentioned, he did his walk through on the debate stage and tweeted out a picture of that. we can put that up on screen. but, wolf, as you know, we've been talking about this all day long, other pictures of paul
ryan that have been up for discussion throughout the day. these pictures that were released by "time" magazine earlier this morning. they showed the vice presidential contender before he was the vice presidential running mate for mitt romney working out in his workout clothes and those pictures put out by "time" magazine earlier today. people around the wisconsin congressman are outraged by all of this. they were very surprised that "time" magazine would put out these pictures on the same day of a debate. they thought was provocative putting it out on the same day when important issues would be discussed and it was their understanding that those pictures were never going to be released. one final thing i should mention, wolf, i heard from a top ryan aide that the wisconsin congressman expects to be called mr. ryan tonight, not congressman ryan or chairman ryan. that is in the debate's memorandum of understanding the mou that both sides, that was not a part of the mou, but something that they hope would be agreed to by joe biden later
on tonight. >> as you know, i spoke with the managing editor of "time "magazine in the last hour, that's our sister publication and he denied any commitment to ryan or anyone else that they wouldn't release these pictures. and he said they decided to release these pictures because they thought it was a good time to release them from rick spangle who joined me here in "the situation room" last hour. candidates and john checking the facts. what are you finding out? >> both candidates like to say they will create jobs. mitt romney creating studies saying his tax plan will create millions of them. this is what he told wolf earlier this week. >> we're not going to see that growth unless we have a tax policy that encourages businesses small and large to make investments and to hire people. that's why i want to put in place the plan i've described. by the way, it's scored by people at rice university as
creating 7 million new jobs. >> romney citing a study that says under certain circumstances the romney tax plan could add 6.8 million jobs. however, diamond says that since romney does not make clear how he would pay for his plan, diamond had to make certain assumptions and depending what loopholes he closes, that could change the results. our verdict here is true with important qualifications on the claim that there is a study that says it would add 7 million jobs. it only adds 7 million if you assume certain details that romney doesn't apply. diamond not a paid adviser has provided? ed a advice to the campaign. mitt romney told "des moines register" he has no legislation on abortion as part of his agenda. >> governor romney has made very clear that if a bill comes to
his desk that overturns roe versus wade he would be fully supportive of that. he said he will appoint justices that will overturn roe versus wade and now four weeks before an election, he is trying to cloud the question. >> so, the facts here are this. mitt romney has said repeatedly he does support overturning roe versus wade and yesterday he said his budget would take away funding for planned parenthood a group which provides abortion, they say, not with federal money. the verdict here is true. president claims that mitt romney would overturn roe versus wade. both those statements, anderson, appear to be true. >> john, we'll check in with you throughout this evening. a lot of facts to check, no doubt, coming out of this debate. we are counting down to the vice presidential debate. cnn special coverage begins at the top of the next hour at 7:00 p.m. eastern. up next, we'll hear from the
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no one may know better what paul ryan is in for tonight than congressman chris van hollen. look at this picture first brought to you exclusively by cnn. you see the congressman standing in for paul ryan as part of vice president debate preparations. the mock contests were part of four days of intense debate preparations biden has had in his home state of delaware. chris van hollen is joining us now from danville, kentucky, for tonight's big event. thanks very much for coming in. here's a key question. will the vice president do tonight what the president
didn't do last week, namely come out swinging? >> look, joe biden is going to be joe biden. that would have been true whether he was doing this after a different debate last week or not. you know joe biden and the american people have gotten to know him. he's a fighter for the middle class. he feels it in his gut and even more importantly, the policies that he and the president stand for are ones that will help the middle class, which is in stark contrast to the romney/ryan plan. so, i think the nation is in for a really good discussion tonight. >> i think you're very right. a very serious, strong discussion. you know paul ryan now probably better than anyone you studied and studied him getting ready for these debate preparations. where do you believe the wisconsin congressman is most vulnerable? >> well, paul ryan is very quick on his feet. we've debated his budget many times in the house. but i think he's most vulnerable when it comes to translating his budget into the impact that it
has on real people. when you actually begin to crunch the numbers and do the math, you find out his voucher plan for medicare will hurt seniors badly. you know that the original plan would have cost seniors more than $6,000. that was according to cbo and they passed that plan twice in the house without blinking. you know that his tax plan would provide big tax breaks to very wealthy people at the expense of the middle class. so, the question tonight, is whether paul ryan will really level with the american people about the impact his budget will have on middle class families on seniors or whether he's going to do what mitt romney did the other night which is just try to run away from the ryan/romney plan. >> you know that mitt romney has disassociated himself from some of paul ryan's legislation, some of paul ryan's ideas, for example, on medicare. you're familiar with that. >> well, yes, but there's one area where they've absolutely doubled down and that's on the voucher plan and the way that works, they save medicare money
by off loading rising health care costs on the backs of seniors. the value of your voucher goes down as the cost of health care goes up, seniors have to eat the difference and then the rest of the plan, romney actually made the ryan plan worse for seniors because he is now going to reinstate romney, the overpayments to the insurance companies. we made savings in obama care by eliminating some of the big overpayments to private insurance companies. seniors will now have to pay more premiums and more co-pays. in fact, $360 a year on average over the next ten years more because mitt romney wants to overpay private insurance companies. and, so, when they tell you that you don't have to worry about medicare changes if you're over 55, that is absolutely not true. seniors will pay more in premiums for the romney/ryan plan. if you have high prescription drug costs, you're going to really be getting hit hard. >> you heard the criticism that the vice president may be out of
practice and taking on tough questions from the national news media. he hasn't done a national television interview since five months ago when he was on "meet the press." so the weekly standard quotes an unnamed republican source as saying this and i'll put it up on the screen. "joe biden gets used by the obama campaign like bernie from "weekend at bernie's." they drag him out to a battleground state and prop him up on a podium in front of a teleprompter, pose him for photos with locals and then quickly roll him back to air force 2 before reporters have a chance to ask him questions. they want biden to be seen, but not heard in any interviews because they're afraid he might embarrass the president with another one of his hilarious gaffes." very serious charge they're making. is he ready for these questions tonight? he hasn't really done it in a while. >> i'm not surprised, wolf, that came not only from a republican source, but a republican source that did not want to put their
name to it. put their name to outrageous statement these days. he is ready, vice president is ready and he is looking forward to this debate. and one thing republicans realize is that he relates at a level and you can be sure that he's not going to endorse a set of policies that hurt the middle class which is why he thinks the romney/ryan plan is so bad. imagine what would have happened to all those people in the economic downturn. that's what they want to do to medicare. so, look, republicans realize that joe biden communicates very directly to middle class voters and very effectively and, of course, this election is about how we're going to deal with the strains that middle class families are facing and whether we'll continue to climb out of this recession the president inherited or go back to the same policies that helped wall street and put us into this mess.
so, i think joe biden is the perfect person to talk directly about those middle class issues up against paul ryan tonight. >> congressman chris van hollen. just out of debate preparation, debate boot camp, as they're calling it in kentucky right now like all of us getting ready for the debate. congressman, thanks for coming in. >> thank you. so, if you watch faul paul out on the campaign trail, you notice one companion. a 40-pound briefcase. what is inside that is helping him prepare for tonight's debate. this is a cnn exclusive. ♪ hi dad. many years from now, when the subaru is theirs... hey. you missed a spot. ...i'll look back on this day and laugh.
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the ground in libya and kate bolduan is watching that. >> pope comes out of retirement to take the job. he speaks arabic and french and spent 12 years in the ranks before retiring. he served as ambassador to chad and held other senior posts. syria is now accusing turkey of lying about a syrian airliner that was forced to land by turkish fighter jets. turkey says the flight from moscow to damascus was carrying military equipment, which turkish officials seized. syria, though, says there's no truth to that. russia is also protesting the interception. there were 17 russians onboard the flight. and we now know what caused the death of that panda cub at washington's national zoo last
month. officials say the 6-day-old cub liver wasn't getting enough oxygen. very sad in washington. finally, if you find your friend's political postings on facebook annoying, you are not alone. 20% of people in a recent pew survey admit to blocking, unfriending or hiding someone because of their comments. the other side has tried to silence them with false reports of spam and harassments. social media good and social media is bad, as well. anderson? just 28 years old when he won his first congressional race and now taking on a statement of politics. paul ryan's rise to the republican ticket, next.
debate stage in danville, kentucky. cnn senior congressional correspondent dana bash shows us the man, theongm congressman he today. >> thank you for doing that. >> reporter: watch paul ryan on the campaign trail and you begin to notice a constant companion, a 40 something pound bag he lugs around himself. >> probably seen with it all the time. >> reporter: a weighty burden he clearly can't live without. can you show us? >> yeah, i have to put my leg down. what do you think? about 30, 40 pounds? >> reporter: at least. inside weeks of piled up prep for tonight's debate. >> pretty heavy. i've got a lot of binders on different subjects. i'm much more successful if i do things properly and prepare. >> reporter: talk to anyone who knows paul ryan and one word always comes up to describe him, prepared. older brother, tolber ryan.
>> this guy does more in a day and absorbs more in a day than i think is humanly possible. >> i believe if you're going to do something, do it well. life is short. you have to make the most of it. >> reporter: seize the moment. a lesson a teenage paul ryan learned from tragedy. his father's untimely death at age 55. this is the house where paul ryan was raised and at age 16, it's where he found his father in bed dead from a heart attack. it's a moment that he says forced him to grow up very fast at a young age. tobin ryan remembers the transformation. >> one of his legacies was to think big. i want to stretch your mind. you need to absorb. and, so, paul grew up, i think, in an environment where if you made a comment, you know, our dad would say, why did he say that? have you thought about, you know, enough of it. are you thinking big enough? >> reporter: in his small hometown of janesville, wisconsin, ryan always thought big. in high school, he was in ten
clubs, was prom king and class president. >> he also was voted biggest brown noser. why do you think that was? >> he must have been the biggest brown noser. >> reporter: in washington, after college, the ambitious young ryan made a point of forging relationships with powerful gop players. forming housing secretary and vice presidential candidate jack kemp, former education secretary bill bennett. >> paul's paul. >> reporter: back in wisconsin, ryan sought out local gop guru steve king, who agreed to give a 27-year-old ryan his first break. backing him for congress over several more experienced republican candidates. >> two was frankly not happy with me and one was a close, personal friend and today is not a close, personal friend. >> reporter: i guess you don't regret that decision. >> he has a youthful appearance it him and one of my friends, a democrat told me, he has an old soul. he gets it. >> reporter: but he also had an
advantage in this part of wisconsin others didn't, the ryan name. paul ryan's uncle started ryan inc., a highly successful dirt moving company. his father was a prominent lawyer and until he died his name was on this law firm that towers over downtown. his first campaign was a family affa affair. his siblings and extended family pitched in. >> my wife, our little baby, my mother, we thought we were doing some fun, volunteer work for our brother. low and behold, eight months, 90 hours a week. >> reporter: at age 28, ryan won his first house race and was re-elected six times since. >> what do you think your dad would say or think about the fact that his youngest son is the vice presidential candidate? >> of course, my dad would be immensely proud. >> reporter: proud perhaps that his son took his advice to think big. >> what i learned at a young age is if you get involved, you can
make a difference in this country. that is what is so great about this country. >> dana, seen lugging around that bag, he is used to being on his own, preparing stuff on his own and suddenly a lot more cooks in the kitchen, how is he dealing with it? >> you know, he has some of his most familiar and closest aides near him. some of the people who were leading his congressional office are now in the vice presidential team, but he does have some new people who he had to get accustomed to and his brother, tobin, told me in part of this process and the one before during the convention that he's opened to ideas and likes to open to thoughts to get ideas across and at times he put his hand out and said, i don't speak that way. he had to push back a little bit, which i think is typical for somebody who is thrown into this kind of big, big arena like you're going to see tonight. >> our special coverage of the vice presidential debate begins that top of the hour. up next, zingers, one liners, gotchas, well, you know,
check out this. this is a live picture coming in from the hall where this vice presidential debate is going to be taking place later tonight. you can see this is where the two candidates, what they'll be seeing as they look out from their chairs around this table with the moderator there right in front. empty right now, but it will be jam packed pretty soon. the vice presidential debates usually, usually don't sway an election, but they certainly have given us some memorable moments. our chief national correspondent john king is here to take a closer look. you've been going through some of those memorable moments over the years and bring back a lot of memories for me.
>> some great memories, some funny memories and some important policy memories, too. vice presidential debates don't change the elections. americans pick presidents, not vice presidents. let's go back in time. three-way race. three candidates in the vice presidential debate. you had al gore and dan quayle and you had the odd man out. ross perot's running mate. >> i want to talk about this because the question was not about free trade or education. the question was about -- >> you're waffling. he's waffling -- >> let me talk now, it's going to be a long evening if you're like this now -- >> don't change the subject. >> an observer at a ping-pong game. >> observer at a ping-pong game. at one point he said, who am i? why am i here? listen tonight when the democrats are criticizing republican tax plans because you might have a sense of davau view. let's go back to 1996. >> the plan from senator dole and mr. kemp is a risky $550
billion tax scheme that actually raises taxes on 9 million of the hardest pressed working families who would blow a hole in the deficit, cause much deeper cuts in medicare, medicaid and education and the environment and knock our economy off track raising interest rates, mortgage rates and car payment. >> well, deja vu when you listen to al gore now and joe biden and we'll watch to see if that plays out tonight. tonight, who do we have on stage? vice president joe biden and chairman paul ryan and they want to debate which ticket is best for the middle class and expect talk about their hometown routes. >> i proudly represent the state of delaware from years in the senate, but i come from a state, i come from pennsylvania -- i come from scranton and the same things in pennsylvania have basically happened here in ohio and, i tell you what, both, both are coming back.
>> i live in janesville. i live about two hours northeast of here. it looks just like this town. actually, this looks, very much like some buildings we have in wisconsin. >> hear a lot of that tonight. joe biden and paul ryan on the campaign trail. go into the small, blue collar towns in iowa, ohio, in pennsylvania and other places that are and i could be presidential battlegrounds. so, if you walk back through time, we'll have more of these throughout the night. interesting moments and some funny moments and some reminders that some of the issues like taxes and spending and talk about gutting medicare. doesn't matter what campaign you're in, those attack lines, quite familiar. >> those memories, bring back a lot of good memories. here's a question, will joe biden do what president obama didn't do, namely go on the attack against his debate rival? anderson cooper is standing by to talk about that and a whole lot more with our political panel of experts.
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and mary madeline and democratic strategist paul begalia and former adviser van jones. in terms of strategy, david, gloria, if you're paul ryan and if you're vice president biden, what are the strategies? >> well, if you're joe biden, you're going to go on the attack. you're going to try to differentiate your ticket from the romney ticket. you're trying, you're going to try and do what the president did not do last time. i think we're going to hear a lot of 47%. i think we're going to hear a lot of bain capital and hear a lot of medicare, maybe some social security thrown in there and he's going to try to do it in a disciplined way. they're trying to keep him on a script and do it in a disciplined way without being unlikable and also paul ryan is likable. so, he has to be careful about that. >> if you're paul ryan? >> it's very simple. if you're paul ryan, you want to keep the momentum going. pick up where mitt romney left
off. keep pushing, keep pushing those arguments and do it in a somewhat different way. i think he's going to make a big decision tonight. does he come out as a strong conservative or move to the more moderate tone that we saw. mitt romney, which apparently worked last week. but i think for joe biden, just the opposite. he has to stop the movement. he has to see if he can't put a brake on this thing and start reversing it. >> if you're joe biden, paul begala and you see paul ryan doing a move to the middle, do you call him on that? because president obama did not to that last week. >> you call mitt romney on it. the cool thing about a vice presidential debate everybody gets to attack. i like that. i hope martha raddatz, the moderator, attacks someone. you don't attack up, you don't attack equal. you attack the organ grinder, not the monkey. the top dog. both of these guys are really smart and really good debaters and really sharp without being unpleasant. so, i actually think it will be great. >> but there's an opportunity,
though, for biden to look at ryan and say, you're not just vp candidate, you're mitt romney's plan and to attack rommy via biden. i think we will see a little bit of that. >> to attack romney via ryan. >> you are going to eat babies, that's what your plan does, it cuts everything, it's the end of the world. >> not just the economic plan for paul ryan. paul ryan is a problem. i think, for this ticket. because women are up for grabs. you've got a guy who sat down with todd aiken to figure out how to redefine rape. that's paul ryan. you have paul ryan who voted against the act. why would romney who wants to be trusted and likable by women pick someone who is this extreme on women's issues? >> this is what i hope happens tonight. i hope biden is that foolish to say some of those things. >> why do you say it's foolish?
>> romney is running for president of the united states. and we are, the women gap is closing every day because you know what women care about. we don't want to secure for p s prostearty and medicare and social security. >> the lily ledbetter act is about women in the economy not being able to participate and paul ryan doesn't believe that women should have the same rights in the workplace. >> are you kidding? >> this is one of the traps, i think, for paul ryan tonight. the goal here, i think, for the democrats tonight is to put paul ryan on defense. explain yourself, justify yourself, move the spotlight off of barack obama's debate. >> completely distorts what he believes and who he is -- >> that would never happen. >> but my point was going to be, my point was going to be that the way for ryan to prevent that, he has to be on offense. he has to move, look, we tried
trickle down government for $16 trillion worth of debt. how do we do it? do we fix anything? he has to keep the spotlight on obama. >> here's what joe biden is going to do? does it stand for the extremism of paul ryan and his budget or this new guy that showed up at the debate last week and he is going to say, who are these people? what do they stand for? actually, paul ryan is driving mitt romney, because, that's right, he is the target. paul ryan is driving mitt romney when it comes to the budget, when it comes to medicare. i mean, this is -- >> let me just add this. four years ago when biden came up here, he was facing sarah palin. now, the easy thing would have been to attack sarah palin. he does not do that. he steered clear of that and went straight to the top of the ticket and won the debate by some margin. >> i talked to david, i checked in with an old friend, david axelrod, what are you guys going to do here? look, we have three things we
have to do. one, play offense. there's a lesson from last week's debate. keep the spotlight on the other guy. two, emphasize the distinctions on policy on records. again, play offense. three, don't let ryan fudge. i think the democrats are trying to create this narrative that republicans somehow are trying impression that democrats are altering everything. >> poll numbers in the last week, are they, can they be recovered? >> oh, sure. they're real, i think they're important, but they can be reversed just as easily as they were gained. the question about offensive versus defensive, it's really crucial. a type of a relationship between the vp and the candidate and principal. when bill clinton first put al gore on the ticket, it was great. dan quyale and stockdale and as we trained him, spent most of the time attacking bush. he's not defending me.
you've got to go to the president, to governor romney and say look, you're going to have to take a few hits so we can score some hits on them. >> four years ago, he just kind of laughed and smiled a lot. he was almost sort of paternalistic. he was taking it seriously, but sort of laughing and smiling it off. does he use that strategy tonight? >> i think he will be more aggressive. he has to be because they have to make up the gaffe from last week. but it's also true that because of the age difference, i think what he wants to do is be the wiser, older fig dwrur on ture stage. >> what about that paul ryan doesn't want to be called congressman. >> he wants to be called mr. ryan. >> you don't want to be called washington. >> it is really hard to debate your dad. the older guy is always the authority figure in these kinds of situations, so you have to be
respectful, but that is a tough challenge. how do you do it? old versus new. yes, dad, but there's a new way to do these things. >> if you were -- >> would you continue to call on congressman ryan congressman just to annoy him? >> sure. >> i know paul would. >> admiral of stockdale. >> he did drive the oscar myer wienermobile. >> they're so grasping at straws. everyone said obama didn't bring his game. that's because he has no game to bring. you're going to say to joe biden, who was elected when jesus was a little boy, that ryan's been in congress too much? ryan was 3 years old when biden was elected to washington.
>> honestly, for him to say he doesn't want to be called a congressperson, i just think he should be proud to serve. he has been able to establish himself at a very young age as the dominant force in this party. the ideas i hope that he comes out there and says what he believes. what he believes is so e extreme on the economy and on women, if he says what he believes, he will lose this debate. >> that's his opportunity tonight because if he appears a reasonable republican like mitt romney did the other night, then all those arguments are going to crumble. >> have to say he doesn't want -- >> we've got to take quick break. got a lot of time to talk. minutes away from the start of our special coverage. we'll be right back. anne's tablet called my phone. anne's tablet was chatting with a tablet in sydney... a desktop in zurich... and a telepresence room in brazil. the secure cloud helped us get some numbers from my assistant's pc in new york. and before i reached the top,
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paul ryan's been part of this debate doing something that's part of his routine, working out. we know he's an avid follower of the p90x exercise plan, but some new photos show us his workout like never before. here's jeanne moos. >> does this picture say mr. vice president to you? this is paul ryan, republican -- >> oh. >> is that him? >> no, that's like oh, no. >> oh, yes. photos of paul ryan working out that came out in "time" magazine have plenty of fans tweeting, too. and just like that, the internet melts. noted one poster, wig bird called. he wants his les back. paul ryan is the broest bro ever
to run for vp. paul ryan is definitely channelling his inner marky mark. just as marky mark pumped iron so did paul ryan. photo shoot almost a year ago when the fitness buff congressperson was a runner up for time's person of the year. some say by releasing old photos around the time of the debate, the editors of "time" wish to make him look trivial, young and unserious. maybe it's the backwards baseball cap. >> i have no clue who that is. >> two-thirds of the people we asked didn't recognize him who is this guy? >> matthew morrison? >> no, not the glee club instructor. >> bradley cooper. >> somebody that's got a new talk show? >> not jeff probst.
>> i think that's the vice president soon to be. >> vp candidate's spokesman said this about the photos. paul ryan takes his health seriously. clearly, judging by these silly pictures, he doesn't take himself too serious. also the readers on buzz feed. they put him in with the village people. some wonder when are the joe biden workout photos coming? best we could do was drag out that famous photo shop job done by the onion, a shirtless joe biden washing his trans am in the white house driveway. this is a potential vice president of the united states. >> oh, it is! >> i think it's a great look for him. >> new york.